If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I heard this phrase the other day. Fantitlement. It's the belief that a fan's devotion to, knowledge of, or proximity to a celebrity somehow entitles them to be part of their life.

Now, you would think this would only apply to those crazy people who stalk celebs or have mosaic walls of photos of that celeb's eyes or forcibly move into the celeb's house while they are out of town or create a whole fictional past for their blog.

Not that last one. That's perfectly normal.

The point is: Yeah, these people have extreme cases of Fantitlement, but I think it's actually fairly common, to some degree.

Listen, a couple of years ago, I was at a Comic Con event and talked to a celeb's assistant. He told me it's a big issue with fans who want to touch, hug, even kiss this celeb. There was actually a sign up prohibiting it.

At first I thought, How sad that they have to actually put up a sign so people won't paw at him. But then I thought about it a little deeper.

From the stalker fan's perspective, this is someone they've watched on TV for several years. They've read about him, maybe even seen photos from life outside the TV show, heard stories about how nice he is, etc. Maybe that celeb did something in the show or in real life that had an impact on the fan. Maybe the celeb said something in support of a cause the fan supports. Or against one the fan is against. For whatever reason, the fan feels a connection to the celeb. (I'm not saying this is good, right, or agreeable in any way. Just saying this is how it happens.)

Of course, to the celeb, the fan is a complete stranger. So you can understand how creeped out the celeb must feel when that person leaps across the autograph table and attaches herself, lips first, to the poor guy. And, it must be very frustrating for the celeb to have to listen to all the rambling crap people want to share with them--even if it comes from that feeling that the celeb is part of their life.

All I can say is, most celebs realize that's all part of it. Even if they don't want it to be. Even if it's not fair. And I think most celebs are cool about it, as long as it doesn't get crazy. They put up a sign, or whatever.

Felicia Day, for instance, (I've not actually met Felicia, but I did see her meeting with fans at a con.) was a very good sport about it. She was very gracious and friendly. She was having a lot of fun with it. And I'm sure, since she is who she is, people were feeling plenty of fantitlement to her life. But, she was cool with it. After her handshaking session, she slapped on some hand sanitizer and went into the exhibit hall to shop. And I thought: Pretty cool, Felicia.

I used her first name, even though I don't know her personally. See? Fantitlement.

Hey, I'm not immune to it. I have met a few celebs at cons and in a previous job, working in television, and there are some celebs that I feel some measure of connection to. Not in a weird way, though, like creating a fictional past on a blog with a celeb. Again, that's perfectly normal.

Here's an example: A few years ago, Hayden Panettiere was at Gencon, as a spokesperson for a card game marketed to little girls. When she and her handler arrived at the booth, there were hundreds of little girls, waiting to talk to her, get her autograph, take a picture. By the time her allotted booth time was up, there were still little girls in line who had been standing there for hours. The handler told her it was time to leave and suggested that he could get her out of there without being mobbed by fans. But she said no. She wanted to make sure that all those little girls got a chance to talk to her.

And she met them. All of them.

And right there, that act made me a Hayden Panettiere fan. I've never met her. Probably never will. But if Hayden Panettiere comes up in a conversation, I'm gonna tell you what a outstanding person she is. I feel Fantitled to that opinion.


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